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Anasta key to Brooks' rise: says Potter

Braith Anasta will be a key figure in the emergence of Wests Tigers youngster Luke Brooks in the NRL this season says coach Mick Potter.
Anasta key to Brooks' rise: says Potter
by AAP

By James MacSmith

SYDNEY, Feb 21 AAP - Braith Anasta will be a key figure in the emergence of Wests Tigers youngster Luke Brooks in the NRL this season says coach Mick Potter.

One of the game's most hyped youngsters in recent memory Brooks makes his first appearance of the pre-season against Cronulla in both clubs' final trial on Saturday.

Brooks, 19, has had his pre-season disrupted by a stress fracture of the back and missed the Tigers' opening trial win over Penrith and last weekend's Auckland Nines.

Potter has confirmed Brooks and 275-game NRL veteran Anasta will be the Tigers first choice halves combination this year and they get their first chance to show their wares against the Sharks.

"I think Braith is going to be invaluable for Luke this season," Potter said on Friday.

"He will temper the enthusiasm a little bit and because Luke will see opportunities and want to capitalise on those and it might be the right time or it might be the wrong time it will be a good balance for us, to have those two working together.

"You throw Blake Austin into the mix too and it is good combination."

Much expectation sits on Brooks' young shoulders but Potter said he is ready for the week-to-week demands of the NRL after making his first grade debut last year.

"I want him to be stable, steady and composed and I think he is that type of kid," Potter said.

"I don't think he will be phased by anything they are going to throw at him and physically he is ready for the demands."

Tigers skipper Robbie Farah is looking forward to playing with Brooks.

"He had a disrupted pre-season with the injury so we just have to get him comfortable within the side so he can play his own role," Farah said.

"I know there is a lot of expectation on him. He is a good kid everyone knows that. Tomorrow night is just about getting that first game under his belt and getting some confidence."

The Tigers confirmed the foot injury to utility Curtis Sironen suffered at the Nines is worse than first thought, he will miss around 12 weeks.

"It is devastating for him, for a young guy that seems like an eternity, unfortunately these things happen," Potter said.


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